Genesis of Tasawwuf:
“It is the privilege of the men of God to
see the sublimest mysteries of the spiritual world and instruct men in
Righteousness; they warn and shield men against evil.” - The Holy Quran
“Tasawwuf or Sufism - the Islamic mysticism - means scrupulously
maintained moral character and religious discipline which one must
necessarily cultivate and observe towards all the creatures of God in
the interests of peace and happiness of mankind.”- Hazrat Khwaja
Moinuddin Hasan Chishty (R.A.)
Jacques de Marquette remarks in his introduction to Comparative
Mysticism : ‘In fact mysticism seems to be able to solve most of the
dilemmas confronting our generation in nearly all the avenues of thought
and activities. Hence the timely character of our attempt to study its
modalities and to interpret whatever message it may have in store for
puzzled modern man’ (P. 18). Much the same is the raison d’ etre for
this study : the relevance of Sufism to the needs of modern society.
Mysticism, it is said, has no genealogy. It is as old as man himself and
echoes the eternal quest of the human soul to have direct experience of
the Ultimate Reality. It proceeds on the assumption that ‘The divine
disclosed itself in the human race as a whole’ and that it is possible
for all human beings – irrespective of their caste, colour or creed – to
have direct communion with Him. The spark of divine love shines alike in
the heart of the learned and the illiterate, the Hindu, the Christian,
the Muslim and the Sikh. It is not the exclusive privilege of higher
religious intellects to strive to understand the essence of Divine
Reality; a shepherd also, as Rumi has shown, may communicate with God
while grazing his herd in the lonely valleys.
Ali, the Wali Allah:
According to Islamic ideology as Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the seal of prophets and there would
not be any prophet after him so the prophet designated Ali as his
spirituial vicegerant at Ghadir-e-Kuhm on the pious occasion of
Hajjatul-wada (The last pilgrimage of the prophet) and the prophet
caught hold of Ali’s arm and raising it up high said “MANKUN TO MOULAHO
FA HAZA ALIYUN MOULAHO, ALLAHHUMMA WA LY MANWALAHO WA ADE MAN ADAHO”.
(whoever takes me as his Maula (Master)
should also take this Ali as his Maula. O Allah ! be a friend to his
friends and foe to his foes.” According to Hazrat Shaikh Ahmed Sirhindi
Naqsbandi Mujaddid-e-Alf-e-Sani, Ali was designated as SHAH-E-WILAYAT-E-KUBRA
(Qutbiyat-e-Kubra) by Allah since the day of the beginning of creation.
(letter no. 134, Maktubat-e-Shaikh Ahmed Sirhindi, Vol.3).
Hazrat Imam Ali is unanimously acclaimed by the Sufis as the founder of
their sect because he combined mystical intuition with the firmest grasp
of Islamic theology, the traditions of the Sufis depict him as “Wali
Allah” (friend of God) and ascribe to him esoteric spiritual powers.
They maintain that the highest aim of knowledge, as preached by Ali, is
the awakening of latent spiritual faculties. They hold that if a person
follows certain “Tariaqas”, or “Paths”, as laid down by their Saint of
Saints, he will be enabled to discover his true and inner self. To this
inner self, God will reveal Himself, while the self will disappear in
the vision of the All-Absorbing Reality.
Prince of Saints:
The Sufis look Ali as the founder of that
knowledge of "Tasawwuf" which harmonises the mystical, moral and
intellectual approaches to Reality. They call the period when he was
Caliph, "The Sufistic epoch" and speak with intense pride of the way in
which his spiritual intuitions re-inforced the doctrine of "Tauheed"
(monotheism); and of how, by his personal example, Ali illumined the way
in which the struggles of a man in this world can fulfill the covenant
between the created and the Creator.
The Need of Spiritual
The Sufis from time immemorial have
recognized the necessity of a “Shaikh” or “Pir” or “Spiritual Director”
to whom humanity may be entrusted for guidance and instruction. Staunch
obedience was to be offered to this director, who was supposed to
possess topmost Spiritual powers and to be well acquainted with all the
paths of “Tariqat”. The disciple was required to remain with him for a
number of years until he had familiarised himself with ‘mystic’
experiences and could himself graduate as a leader.
Since Ali possessed a noble, religious and philanthropic spirit to the
highest degree, the Sufi recognize in him their first Spiritual
Director; it was he who showed the way to eternal bliss. They hold that
if Muhammad (may peace be upon him) was the seal of Prophets, Ali the
spiritual sovereign of all the Sufi denomination was, undoubtedly, the
seal of Saints. Without intercession of Hazrat Ali no saint can attain
the degree of Wilayat and Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishty (R.A.)
is direct descendant of Hazrat Ali (Alehissalam)
The quintessence of Sufi teachings is
service to humanity regardless of caste, creed, colour, of faith. The
Sufis believe, al khalq-o-ayalullah, meaning that the whole creation is
the ‘family of God’. Love of God is not complete without loving his ayal
(family). The Sufis believe that true worship is not in the performance
of rites, rituals and supererogation. True worship is in the service of
humanity. As Shaikh Saadi says:
Ibadat bajuz khidmat-e-khalq neest Ba tasbih-o-sajjadah-o-dalq neest
Without service of humanity,prayer means nothing It is not counting
beads, sitting on the mat Or wearing tatters.
S.M. Zaman's 'Role of
Social Service and Women in Sufism.' On the question of Khidma, says
Zaman, the Sufi manuals are full of instructions and injunctions to be
observed in providing service in Ribats to Muslims as well as
non-Muslims. It was the single factor most responsible for making Sufism a strong
force for the propagation of Islam. Thus humanism helped the Muslim
saints in India and the basic character of its
composite society. For them India was neither dar-ul-Harb nor
dar-ul-Islam. It was God's earth with variety of men, and stores of
wisdom, a land where Adam and Eve first walked and where the Prophets
Shis and Ayyub lay buried. Sayyid Jalaluddin Bukhari Mukhdum-I-Jahanian
many gifts of God and such a variety of men and Treasures of knowledge
as one finds specifically in India Are not to be found anywhere else in
the whole world".
Introduction to Islam
Aulia Allah,the Friends of Allah
Order of Sufis
Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (R.A)
Visiting Ajmer Sharif
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For both Vedanta and Sufism, there is a
common discipline. It includes purification of self, mastering of
passions and desires,
filling of the mind exclusively with the
thought of God, obtaining control over bodily functions and mental
processes till the objective world ceases to distract consciousness,
till man passes away (fana/nirvana) from phenomenal existence and
attains union with the divine. The soul stands self-enlightened and
unperturbed by temptations and apprehensions.
The Sufis were held in high esteem among the masses who followed their
simple teachings with eagerness and understanding. They laid stress upon
the dignity of man, for they thought that every individual should reach
the highest goal of human life by his own effort.
This essential unity of India has manifested itself in a beautiful
synthesis of music and dance, drama and painting, literary and
philosophical discourses which are also indicative of the rich and
varied Indian panorama. Love of humanity is the key to the understanding
of that essential unity. Maulana Rumi, the jem of the Sufi poets,
perceived the same unity in Islam like the poet of Upanishads. In his
O love! You are my greatest stimulator, you
Medicine for all my ailments. Your are the true friend,
Philosopher and guide of my soul and you are like
Hakeem Jaalinus. You are the surest remedy for my
vanity and pride. My being has adored the Vedas and
Temples of Hindus, the Zendavesta of Parsis, the
Quran of the Muslims, the Enjeel (the Bible) of the Christians
And the Atishkada (fire-temple) of the Parsis.
There is no second God for me other than love.
This is the essence of Sufism.